On 20th October 2022, we were delighted to host an evening of celebration at the Institute of Contemporary Arts to mark 15 years of Women for Refugee Women.

It was incredibly moving to come together with the refugee and asylum-seeking women in our network, our dedicated staff, trustees and volunteers past and present, our generous and compassionate supporters and funders, and our friends from across the sector to mark all that has been achieved over the last 15 years and to stand in solidarity and resistance in the face of the increasingly hostile environment. 

Over the last 15 years we have:

  • Supported hundreds of refugee women to build their skills and confidence and to rebuild their lives;
  • Continuously campaigned against the hostile asylum system and achieved positive change to improve the lives of women;
  • Reached thousands of people with the stories of refugee women who have spoken out at events, to the public, to the media and to parliamentarians;
  • And built a support base of tens of thousands of people committed to fighting for a more compassionate asylum system.


Our Director, Alphonsine Kabagabo, said:

Celebrating 15 years of Women for Refugee Women alongside the amazing women in our network, our supporters and partners, and our friends from across the sector was an honour. I was delighted that Natasha Walter, the Founder of WRW, was able to join us as we celebrated all that has been achieved through our passion, activism and hope over the last 15 years. The evening was a poignant reminder of the importance of our continued fight for a fairer and welcoming asylum system for women seeking safety. In the face of the increasingly hostile environment, the power of collective action, solidarity and love is needed now more than ever.

Our Founder, Natasha Walter, said:

When a few women got together to launch Women for Refugee Women more than 15 years ago we did so in a spirit of hope and solidarity. It was wonderful to gather with so many friends to remember and celebrate all we have done over the years – and to feel that hope and solidarity again. I’m so glad that WRW continues to flourish with the leadership of Alphonsine Kabagabo, as the work of the organisation is still so much needed today.

Our Director, Alphonsine Kabagabo, with our Founder, Natasha Walter. Photo credit: Simon Tang


We heard powerful poetry from refugee and asylum-seeking women on the night. All the poems were original works written by the women exploring themes of hope, love, solidarity, family and life:

  • Olivia performed ‘I Say Yes to My Body’
  • Maria performed ‘Give Her a Chance to Survive’
  • Mahide performed ‘Recipe for Love’
  • Loraine performed ‘From the Glass Bottle’ from her new poetry book, I Was Not Born a Sad Poet
From left to right: Olivia, Loraine, Maria and Mahide. Photo credit: Simon Tang


Our Chair of Trustees, Rachel Krys, said:

I was delighted to celebrate all that has been achieved at Women for Refugee Women over the last 15 years alongside the people who made it possible and continue to make our work possible today. To be in a room of people full of hope, solidarity and the passion to push for change and fight for a fairer world for women seeking safety was incredibly moving. As the external environment continues to become increasingly hostile, I urge people to continue to stand with refugee and asylum-seeking women and to support our ever-needed work.

On behalf of all at Women for Refugee Women, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all who have made our work possible over the last 15 years. It is with thanks to the collective action, solidarity, generosity and compassion of our supporters that our work has been possible and that we have achieved positive change and supported hundreds of refugee women to rebuild their lives.

The increasingly hostile environment and punitive approach adopted by the Government means our work is needed more than ever. Please continue to stand with refugee and asylum-seeking women as we continue our journey to fight for a fairer, more welcoming and compassionate asylum system to ensure that all women who cross borders for their safety receive the protection they need. Join our community and support refugee women today:


All photographs: Simon Tang

Thank you!